A Trip Home for Martina
Organized by: Cody Steiner
While living in South Korea, we began to volunteer at a shelter called Busan Abandoned Pet Sanctuary (BAPS). We fell in love with one of the rescue dogs, Martina, and decided that we wanted to give her a forever home with us in the United States. She has an incredibly affectionate, energetic little spirit and an abundance of curiosity. Despite being caged up for a week at a time until volunteers arrive to walk the dogs on Sundays, Martina is always enthusiastic for attention from humans and her fellow rescue dogs. She’s approximately 10 months old and still has plenty of stubborn puppy attitude, but her lolling tongue, goofy grin, and infectious happiness won us over!
We dearly want to bring Martina to the United States, but shipping a larger dog can quickly incur a lot of fees. A trusted pet shipping company has quoted us approximately $1,200 to pack Martina up, get her through customs, and deliver her safely to the United States. We have also been given an estimate of $300 for pet taxis across Korea, as she can only be shipped out through the Seoul International Airport. This brings us to a total of $1,500. We are determined to get Martina to the USA, and would greatly appreciate anything that you are able to share!
As a thanks to the kind people who run BAPS for rescuing this darling doggie and to help them continue their good work, we want to donate anything in excess of our goal to their shelter. We also strongly encourage anyone with any love of dogs to visit them online (Busan Abandoned Pet Sanctuary), consider donating to their cause, or adopt one of their rescue dogs!
A little more about Martina and Busan Abandoned Pet Sanctuary…
Martina was abandoned as a very young puppy. She became very malnourished before ending up in a pound in Busan, South Korea. As some of you visiting this page may already know, South Korea has been struggling with high rates of pet abandonment for several years. According to statistics provided by the Korean government, around 81,000 pets--largely dogs--were abandoned in 2014 alone. Only 31.4% were adopted, 13% were reclaimed by their owners, 23% died in pounds, and 22.7% were euthanized. The odds were not in Martina's favor.
The wonderful people who run BAPS regularly visit the pound, and they saw Martina's zest for life and unending affection despite her condition and abandonment. They decided to rescue Martina. As such a young puppy, Martina could not be accepted to BAPS. The shelter runs solely on private donations, and does not have the facilities to keep puppies. With the help of a generous foster, Martina was given a temporary home surrounded by love. Her life was improving!
After 3 months with her foster, some adopters came forward, and Martina had found a forever home! However, in a sad twist of fate, the adopters decided after only a day that she was still too much of a puppy to be a good house pet. In an effort to "settle her down," they brought Martina to the vet for an impromptu spay operation the very next day. A day after the operation, they refused to take care of her anymore, and the lovely people at BAPS were forced to frantically find a new foster for the little Martina. A short two days in her “forever home” and Martina was back to being a foster puppy. After her recovery and another month with a foster, Martina finally found her way to BAPS. She has been living there since, waiting for a forever home.
BAPS is strictly a non-kill shelter, a relative rarity in South Korea. It is a safe place for these rescued dogs to reside, but it is certainly not a final destination. Many of the dogs, particularly larger breeds like Martina, will wait many months to be adopted. Despite the enormous use of their personal time, funds, and literal blood, sweat, and tears being shed, the couple who run BAPS cannot bring the shelter up to what many would consider “American standards” for a dog shelter. As such, BAPs is intended strictly as a temporary holding place for these dogs—hopefully, just a wayside in their journey to their forever home—and a way to procure a little extra time for some special dogs who would otherwise be euthanized. And so, my wife and I decided one exceptionally cold, windy day while taking the rescue dogs on walks, that Martina had spent enough time at BAPS and deserved an actual forever home. We’re determinedly looking forward to having her join us at home in the United States!